'Story or History of writing'/Part:25/' [END]

Some scholars believe that a conscious search for a solution to record transactions in an indisputable, permanent form by an unknown Sumerian individual in the city of Uruk (biblical Erech), c .3300 BC, produced writing. Others posit that writing was the work of a group, presumably of clever administrators and merchants. Still others think it was not an invention at all, but an accidental discovery. Many regard it as the result of evolution over a long period, rather than a flash of inspiration. One particularly well-aired theory holds that writing grew out of a long-standing counting system of
clay ‘tokens’. Such ‘tokens’— varying from simple, plain discs to more complex, incised shapes whose exact purpose is unknown— have been found in many Middle Eastern archaeological sites, and have been dated from 8000 to 1500 BC. The substitution of two-dimensional symbols in clay for these three dimensional tokens was a first step towards writing, according to this theory. One major difficulty is that the ‘tokens’ continued to exist long after the emergence of Sumerian cuneiform writing; It seems more likely that ‘tokens’ accompanied the emergence of writing, rather than giving rise to writing. The transformation of three-dimensional tokens to two-dimensional signs to communicate information was the beginning of writing. Eventually, the tokens were replaced by signs made by their impressions onto solid balls of clay, or tablets. The impressed signs
evolved to become writing.The
 clay tokens were not the first accounting method used, By 20,000 years ago, Upper Paleolithic people were leaving tally marks on cave walls and cutting hash marks into portable sticks. Clay tokens, however, contained information about what was being counted, an important step forward in communication storage and retrieval.

So, In brief Writing evolved from accounting or counting system, But any race recognised this truth other than Tamil? Tamils called their alphabet a "nettungknnkku. நெடுங்கணக்கு" ,means long Arithmetic. They are the only ethnic group, correctly understand the effect of accounting or counting system and named the  'alphabet' , formal Tamil letter-sequence, properly said as NedungkaNakku!!. Not now, long long before! Numbers and letters are as worthy as the two eyes/ எண்ணும் எழுத்தும் கண் எனத் தகும் – 12th century  tamil female poet avvaiyar said, Even before christ, Tamil sage Thiruvalluvar well said in Kural 392 "The twain that lore of numbers and of letters give  Are eyes, the wise declare, to all on earth that live./ எண்ணென்ப ஏனை
எழுத்தென்ப இவ்விரண்டும் கண்ணென்ப வாழும் உயிர்க்கு" ,means Letters and numbers are the two eyes of man. In Tamil movie "Saraswathi Sapatham",We also come across a song: "அகர முதல எழுத்தெல்லாம் அறிய வைத்தாய் தேவி...உயிர்மெய் எழுத்தெல்லாம் தெரிய வைத்தாய்...எண்ணும் எழுத்தென்னும் கண் திறந்தாய்.....ஒலி தந்து மொழி தந்து குரல் தந்தாய்..." Generally, common people were made to belief that every thing is from god,whether good or bad, Even though, over 2000 years old sangam poem, Poet Kaniyan Pungundranar clearly says that "Harm and happiness will never come from others. Likewise, sorrow and relief cannot attain from others.தீதும் நன்றும் பிறர்தர வாரா,நோதலும் தணிதலும் அவற்றோ ரன்ன". Sangam poems also represent that moment in time
when Writing was born in tamil. For example, Sangam texts,such as Kalithokai 18 have mentioned that lovers writing "toyyil" pictograms on girl friends' breasts as: 

"Think about the thoyyil designs that you painted 
on her arms lovingly, and the pallor spots she got 
embracing your mighty chest."

Aattisoodi, the first book taught to children, has "Do not despise numbers and letters (both are important to learn )எண் எழுத்து இகழேல்,. Tevaram by 7th century saints calls  "Siva as the supreme teacher and says "எண் ஆனாய்! எழுத்து ஆனாய்! எழுத்தினுக்கு ஓர் இயல்பு ஆனாய்! .." That is it says: 'Siva became Numbers, and Letters; He is the true nature of those Letters,  An earlier book, Thirukkural, the most secular book from Old India, starts with:'a' is the first and source of all the letters.  Even so is God Primordial, the first and source of all the world. Also, In his kural:1285, "The eye sees not the rod that paints it; nor can I See any fault, when I behold my husband nigh./எழுதுங்கால் கோல்காணாக் கண்ணேபோல் கொண்கன் பழிகாணேன் கண்ட இடத்து.",means:While close I don't see my lover's blemish Like eyes do not see the stylus while writing. All these clearly indicate that whether it is Sumerian-Tamil or Indus-Tamil or Sangam-Tamil, They are the first people who invented "Writing", And these Writing actually slowly developed from their accounting or counting system, which not only give birth of writing, It also give birth of first civilization!! 

[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]



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